Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the Union government is looking to do away with toll booths in the next year. This, he said, will be replaced with GPS imaging-based toll collection. FASTag has been made mandatory for all vehicles, and double toll is levied if a vehicle does not have FASTag
Gadkari informed the Parliament that 93% of vehicles have FASTag, and the remaining 7% are yet to get one.
"I want to assure the House that within one year all physical toll booths in the country will be removed. It means that toll collection will happen via GPS. The money will be collected based on GPS imaging (on vehicles)," Gadkari said during the Lok Sabha’s Question Hour.
FASTag, was launched in 2016, and was made mandatory for all vehicles — with the last date to get one on February 16. All vehicles without a FASTag pay double toll at electronic toll booths.
Gadkari informed the Lower House that he has instructed that a police enquiry be carried out for vehicles which do not pay toll using a FASTag. There are cases of toll theft and GST evasion if FASTags are not fitted in vehicles, he said.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had decided that all lanes in fee plazas on national highways would be declared as "FASTag lane of the fee plaza" with effect from February 16.
As per NH Fee Rules 2008, any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or vehicle without valid, functional FASTag entering into the FASTag lane of the fee plaza shall pay a fee equivalent to two times of the fee applicable to that category," an official statement said.
The ministry had said that this has been done to further promote fee payment through digital mode, reduce waiting time and fuel consumption, and provide for seamless passage through the plazas. The Ministry had mandated fitment of FASTag in 'M' and 'N' categories of motor vehicles with effect from January 1, 2021.
Category 'M' stands for a motor vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying passengers, and the category 'N' stands for a motor vehicle with at least four wheels used for carrying goods, which may also carry persons in addition to goods.\
With inputs from IANS